New courses Spring 2010
SOCL 133b. Social Problems.
T-Th 2:30-4:00 p.m.
This course is designed to identify the nature and severity of social problems, and to evaluate proposed solutions to such problems. This course has two main goals. One goal is to give an overview of some of the main issues that we normally think of as social problems in the United States today. The other goal is to show how people in society determine what counts as a social problem, how it should be understood and how it should be dealt with, and how ideas about social problems change from one context to another. In this course, we will discuss the following questions. What constitutes a social problem? Who defines when something is a social problem? Why do some social problems receive so much attention, while others are ignored? Under what conditions do different types of social problems emerge? You will learn to think critically about a variety of social problems in our society and about the strategies and policies designed to solve problems such as poverty, crime, wage inequality, educational inequality, racism and sexism.
SOCL 266b. Inequality in Labor Markets.
T-Th 10:00-11:30 a.m.
This course provides a conceptual and theoretical framework for understanding labor market inequality in the United States, including inequalities in wages, unemployment, and underemployment across different social groups. Students will compare and contrast sociological theories and arguments with the economic theories that have had an impact on the sociological study of trends in the levels of inequality, the nature of employment, disparities in access to employment, gender and racial inequality, and increases in occupational hierarchy. The course provides a critical review of various theoretical approaches and of the policy suggestions for reducing labor market inequality.